FROM the moment a general election is called, an MP becomes a candidate again, but I just wanted to reassure readers that I can still help you if you need it.
MPs do have a number of hotlines we can use to try and help people who have been hitting their heads against the brick wall of the system, especially in relation to tax credits and child maintenance which are so often miscalculated.
I pay for my own website so that I can keep it during the election to deal with on-going cases and any new ones. You can continue to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crises arise like this Easter weekend when, in desperation, a constituent contacted me personally because an MP is seen as the last port of call and sometimes we can help - in this case with a lost passport on eve of travel. Again we have a hotline but even the border control agency cannot magic up a new one overnight. Probably my only help was to put in the calls to establish the facts and pray that said passport turned up, which it did just in the nick of time.
The point is that MPs are there to serve you and however bad the press it is a 24 hour job and seven days a week which it has been my privilege to do for the last 13 years. Just occasionally it may save a life if I can get a refuge space in a hostel, or talk someone out of ending their life out of depression and despair. My family has learnt to live with the “Mum-on call “ scenario and although they don’t want to be politicians, they do believe we can make a difference .
If you do not have a sense of vocation I do not believe you can do the job and, for all the bad press about MPs, I would urge you not to be apathetic, but use your vote because whoever you vote for has to be there to serve you ….and you never know when you may need it!